New Caledonia

Bill and Caroline
Wed 6 Nov 2013 05:13
22:17.17S 166:26.20E
Obviously, having read our blog, food features highly on passage, at anchor or any time really. Supermarkets, when you have intermittent access and very intermittent choice become a hall of delights and the french influence can be seen no where better than the cheese counter. Noumea, the main town and port on New Caledonia is a thriving cosmopolitan setting - with street cafes and bars, coconut bordered central square, free wifi (if you sit in the right place and there is no one else around), DIY shops selling strong buckets (always needed), chandlery (with real boat stuff), hundreds of boats on moorings and a little space to anchor (as long as you are behind the line between the starboard mark and the military zone… a reef surrounded island with protected 'ilots' dotted in the lagoon, huge volcanic mountains rich in nickel (and bearing the scars of their abundance) and very good cruising with an active sailing community (from beginners and young children learning to evening racing and well sponsored boats).
Accompanied by a lost(?) but very friendly french speaking dog, and a chance to stretch legs for a while. In fact this took a while longer than anticipated due to the chosen path disappearing, necessitating a new and alternative path to be made/forced through the undergrowth (where is the machete when you need it?). Flamboyant trees again, not seen in flower since the Caribbean and a first Lychee tree. 

Waiting, initially for visas, and then for a weather window for Oz, and making the most of the time in NC - kite surfing, crashing kites, repairing kites, and repairing them again. The jumping is now good, and the landings now happen, sometimes…. While the boat has a spruce up with newly painted bilges and cupboards (or at least most of them), finally the molas bought in the San Blas islands Panama get turned into cushions as planned a year ago!